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Stratford’s Lucas Parsons named Truro Bearcats’ hardest worker in rookie season


TRURO, N.S. —

It was a year of growth, adjustment and development for Lucas Parsons.

The 17-year-old son of Jamie and Tara Parsons of Stratford recently completed his rookie season in the Maritime Junior Hockey League and was named the Truro Bearcats’ hardest worker.

“It was an honour,” Parsons said of the award. “I didn't expect it. I came to practice every day and I worked hard. Both on and off the ice, I put my best foot forward.

“It’s nice to be recognized in the eyes of the coaching staff and players that you have a good work ethic.”

Forward Lucas Parsons recently completed his rookie season in the Maritime Junior Hockey League with the Truro Bearcats.
Forward Lucas Parsons recently completed his rookie season in the Maritime Junior Hockey League with the Truro Bearcats.

It didn’t take Parsons long to make an impression. Bearcats general manager and head coach Shawn Evans pointed out that while the Bearcats struggled through their first 15 games, Parsons hung in while adjusting to the junior A level and living away from home at the same time as a midget-aged forward.

“The best thing I can say about Lucas is he has a lot of character,” said Evans. “The second half of the season the team improved, and so did his game.

“As a matter of fact, late in the season going into the playoffs, he was pushing hard for ice time and he was getting some.”

Parsons admitted there were times when he was his own worst critic during the season.

“I would take a step back and (say), ‘I have to stay calm because it is my first year and put my best foot forward’,” said Parsons.

Evans, the longest-serving head coach in the 12-team league, noted the hardest worker award has always been selected by the Bearcats’ coaches and support staff.

“I like to use my trainers and support staff as well,” said Evans. “They see the players in a different view than the coaching staff does.

“I like the best attitudes, the hardest workers and those types of guys. That’s always been the way we’ve done business here in Bearcat land.

“Lucas worked hard every day. Lucas worked hard in practice, Lucas worked hard in off-ice training, kept his mouth shut and went to work. He earned a lot of respect from his teammates for that.”

Drafted high

The Bearcats drafted Parsons in the second round, 18th overall, in the 2019 MHL Entry Draft out of the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild major midget program.

“We drafted him high and we selected wisely, we feel,” said Evans. “We are glad Lucas came and, first of all, we got ourselves a good young man and, second of all, a good hockey player.”

Parsons, who had six goals and 11 points in 50 regular-season games, described his first season with the Bearcats as a positive experience.

“I went over there not knowing what was going to happen, but, overall, it was great,” said Parsons. “The coaching staff was amazing.

“They found your top playing ability and pushed you every day to reach that level, and the players were great. The organization, itself, and the volunteers were top notch.”

One individual not surprised by Parsons’ development is Wild head coach Kyle Dunn.

Truro Bearcats forward Lucas Parsons, centre, stands in front of head coach Shawn Evans during a Maritime Junior Hockey League game earlier this year in Summerside.
Truro Bearcats forward Lucas Parsons, centre, stands in front of head coach Shawn Evans during a Maritime Junior Hockey League game earlier this year in Summerside.

“Lucas Parsons is a motivated player,” said Dunn, who noted there was one thing Wild officials noticed while watching him play his first year of midget eligibility with the Pownal Red Devils of the P.E.I. Midget AAA Hockey League.

“We had our eye on him and his work ethic stood out,” said Dunn. “You see the work ethic this guy had at the minor midget level and, as coaches, you say, ‘this fella is motivated to get to the next level’.”

That is exactly where Parsons wants to take his game with the Bearcats. He’s looking to enter his sophomore season with improved speed, power and strength.

“I am looking forward to next season and am hoping for big things,” said Parsons. “Next year, I can bring more to the table than I did this year.”

Evans says Parsons, who has three years of eligibility remaining, will be a big part of the Bearcats’ future.

“He’s going to be a really, really good power forward in this league,” said Evans. “He can shoot the puck, he can see the ice pretty well, he’s not afraid of the physical game and he’s a motivated young man.

“We are glad we got him in the fold at 17. If he sticks with our program, he will have a fine career in junior hockey and will turn into a leader.”


Numbers

Recent statistics for Lucas Parsons:

Lucas Parsons scored a hat trick and had four points to spark the Kensington Wild to a 6-0 home-ice win over the Saint John Vitos in the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League during the 2018-19 season.
Lucas Parsons scored a hat trick and had four points to spark the Kensington Wild to a 6-0 home-ice win over the Saint John Vitos in the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League during the 2018-19 season.

2019-20
Truro Bearcats, junior A

Regular season
GP    G    A    Pts.
50    6    5    11


2018-19
Kensington Wild, major midget
Regular season
GP    G    A    Pts.
33    17    14    31


Playoffs
GP    G    A    Pts.
4    3    0    3


2017-18
Pownal Red Devils, midget AAA
Regular season
GP    G    A    Pts.
28    14    12    26


Playoffs
GP    G    A    Pts.
9    4    3    7


Jason.simmonds@journalpioneer.com

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